30 July 2005

The 'Bcc:' field in an email address - Netiquette

Quote for the day:

Politeness and consideration for others is like investing pennies and getting dollars back.”
Thomas Sowell
Philospher, Ameican Economist & Political writer
(1930 - )

Photo credit: Hamra

This information is intended to make you a neater, considerate and more thoughtful "E-mailer". Your friends and their friends and so on will be thankful.

When sending an email many people place all the email addresses in the ‘To:’ field. There are two drawbacks to this practice:

(1) You are publicizing someone else's email address without their permission.
(2) The recipient knows that you have sent the same message to a large number of recipients

‘Bcc:’ means Blind Carbon Copy. It is a way of addressing mail to more than one person so that everyone's address is not displayed for all to see By placing all addresses in the ‘Bcc:’ field the recipient will only see the address from the ‘To:’ field in their email, so if this was empty, the ‘To:’ field will be blank and this might look like spamming. I put my own address in the ‘To:’ field and all my recipients' addresses in the ‘Bcc:’ field.

The ‘Bcc:’ field:

1. Protects your recipients' E-mail addresses from being spread to strangers.
2. Helps prevent SPAM (Unsolicited Commercial E-mail)
3. Messages will be easier on your readers because they will be smaller, with fewer addresses on each message. They will even download faster.
4. Consideration of others by not publishing hundreds of your friends' addresses to strangers and potentially, spammers or maybe even stalkers.

Try it out on yourself by sending an email to yourself and ‘Bcc:’ yourself also to see what it looks like.


Links:

Electronic Mail Etiquette
Email etiquette rules for effective email replies
Email Etiquette

25 July 2005

Common Plantain

Quote for the day:

But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow where people want something else. In blaming nature, people mistake the culprit. Weeds are people's idea, not natures.”
Author Unknown

Common Plantain

Photo credit: Rutgers Cooperative Extension - New Brunswick, N.J.

Common Plantain is the first plant I learned the medicinal properties of while quite young. It is my favorite of all due to its ability to stop itching almost immediately. Mosquitoes, stinging nettle and poison ivy top the list and this wonderful little plant gives greater relief than anything found on the shelves in a store and it’s free.

Find it by roadsides and in meadowlands apply the fresh leaves whole or bruised in the form of a poultice. Rub it on parts of the body stung by insects, nettles, etc., or as an application to burns and scalds, the leaves give relief and will stay the bleeding of minor wounds.

Don’t confuse it with the banana-like vegetable of the same name.
Photo credit: Augustana University of Alberta 2005 Cost Rica Field Trip

Active constituents

The major constituents in plantain are mucilage, iridoid glycosides (particularly aucubin), and tannins. Together these constituents are thought to give plantain mild anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antihemorrhagic, and expectorant actions. Plantain is approved by the German Commission E for internal use to ease coughs and mucous membrane irritation associated with upper respiratory tract infections as well as topical use for skin inflammations.

Dosage

The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide To Herbal Medicines recommends using 1/4–1/2 teaspoon (1–3 grams) of the leaf daily in the form of tea made by steeping the herb in 1 cup (250 ml) of hot water for 10–15 minutes (making three cups (750 ml) per day) The fresh leaves can be applied directly three or four times per day to minor injuries, dermatitis, and insect stings. Syrups or tinctures, approximately 1/2 teaspoon (2–3 ml) three times per day, can also be used, particularly to treat a cough. Finally, 1/2–1 1/4 teaspoons (2–6 grams) of the fresh plant can be juiced and taken in three evenly divided oral administrations throughout the day.

Side effects

Plantain is not associated with any common side effects and is thought to be safe for children. There is no information available about its use by pregnant or nursing women, though topical application appears to be safe. Adulteration of plantain with digitalis leading to dangerous side effects has been reported in Switzerland and the United States. Although rare, it points to the need for consumers to purchase herbs from companies that carefully test their herbal products for adulteration.

Common names: Broadleaf plantain, Lanceleaf plantain, Ribwort
Botanical names: Plantago lanceolata, Plantago major
Synonyms: Broad-leaved Plantain, Ripple Grass, Waybread, Slan-lus, Waybroad, Snakeweed, Cuckoo's Bread, Englishman's Foot, White Man's Foot, (Anglo-Saxon) Weybroed.
Parts Used: Root, leaves, flower-spikes.

Links:

12 July 2005

SPACE JUNK, DEBRIS & TRASH

“It is the policy of the United States that activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind.”
Space Act of 1958 (as amernded)

Photo credit: BBC - Science & Nature - Space animated clip.

'Space junk' or 'space debris' is any artificial rubbish orbiting our Earth. There may be over a million pieces of space junk currently orbiting Earth. However, all but 9,000 of these are smaller than a tennis ball.

The trash heap of manufactured materials encircling our Planet Earth reminds me of just how far we have to evolve as a species. Can’t figure out our trash problems here and think we have the right to continue into space…sure doesn’t feel right to me.

Imagine what it must look like entering our Solar System – one gorgeous little planet stands out – not for it’s pristine beauty but for the trash and pollution on and encircling it. If we are not embarrassed as a species – I sure am!

Tidbits:

The oldest debris: US satellite Vanguard I, launched on March 17th 1958 - worked for only 6 years.

The most dangerous garment: A glove - In 1965, during the first American space walk, Gemini 4 Astronaut Edward White lost a glove. The glove stayed in orbit for a month with a speed of 28,000 km / h.

Most trash award: The Mir space station - During its first 10 years of operation it released more than 200 objects, mostly rubbish bags.

Other items include: A camera lost by Astronaut Michael Collins. A wrench and toothbrush also floated around for some time prior to entering Earth’s atmosphere. Spent rocket stages, defunct satellites, explosion fragments, paint flakes, dust and slag from solid rocket motors and coolant released by RORSAT nuclear powered satellites add to the ever growing list of trash in our skies.

Projects offering solutions to space debris:

Orion – A Solution To The Orbital Debris Problem
Laser rays sent from the ground to evaporate a part of the space debris material, which would take them away from their trajectory, either to reenter the atmosphere or to be sent to orbits where they are no longer dangerous.

Tethers Unlimited, Inc.
Tethers with lengths of several kilometers are rolled up in satellites. The idea consists of unwinding the tether when the satellite finishes its mission and taking advantage of the potential difference created between its ends due to the terrestrial magnetic field. This potential difference creates an electrical current along the tether, which consumes an energy that the satellite can only compensate by braking, so it starts to fall and finally reenters the atmosphere.

Photo credit: NASA Orbital Debris Program Office

Links:

Shuttle study finds higher rrisk of fatal hit by debris
Space Debris -- from Eric Weisstein's World of Astronomy
NASA Orbital Debris Program Office
Space Debris Basics
European Space Agency
Australian Radiation Protection & Nuclear Safety Agency

Astronomy Magazine

05 July 2005

Beautiful British Columbia in my front yard

View from my kitchen window

Doing dishes isn't so bad with this view. Posted by Picasa
Photo by Sandi during her mini holiday last month

Still no computer to call my own. Thanks to syncronicity and my friend wanting this little 2 GB computer fixed - it has allowed me to get online here and there.

Her computer is now repaired and alas it must be returned. May mine come home to me soon. Then my phone line will once again have that familiar busy ring that my friends and family know all too well ;)

Links:

03 July 2005

NASA & Comet Temple 1 Impact

Quote for the day:

"What we need is star peace and not star wars."
President of the Soviet Union & Nobel Peace Prize Winner
(1931 - )

‘Holy shades of Star Trek’, ‘Doctor Who’ and advanced space weapons testing!! Here is a piece of news going on in our skies today that has the ring of life mimicking the movies for me.

Photo credit: NASA Deep Impact

NASA is going to crash an 820 lb (371 kl) probe into Comet Temple 1 at 10:52 p.m. PDT and record the event with a flyby mothership, satellites and planetary-based observatories.

We are told that the intent of the mission is to view substances that have not been seen since the formation of the solar system. They hope Deep Impact will not only yield information about the composition of comets, but also shed light on the make-up of the early solar system.

Hawaii, the western U.S.A., Mexico and parts of Central and South America will have the best views.

For live coverage of the event check out these links to information, telescopes and web television:

Deep Impact: Home Page
A Journey Through Space & Time
Kitt Peak Observatory
NASA - NASA Web TV
Space Daily

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